30 November 2005

November

November saw a slight increase in swear output. I put this down to two reasons. The first is a positive reason! An increase in free time, lead to a more relaxed attitude towards the project, meaning that less swears were repressed and that my language usage was more natural (if that’s possible).

I Hate Cars...

Two examples of this free-speaking approach occurred towards the end of the month, when I got particularly annoyed with traffic speeding past me on the cold winter nights. On these two occasions swears were aimed at cars, rather than people, whilst walking to and from my studio.

Double Impact...

The second reason for an increase in swears in November, I put down to a bout of depression caused by a chain of unfortunate events that left me frustrated, drained and fed-up. The first of these had a dual impact on the project. It involved the destruction and replacement of my mobile phone. This affected the project, first of all, because it meant that I could no longer use the ‘voice memo’ device on my phone for recording swears. The end of an era in many ways, having finally got used to turning to the handy device when a swear popped up in a not-so-handy situation, it was gone - never to be used again.

Computer Says ‘No’...

The second impact this had on the project was in thrusting me into a tempestuous nine-day long battle with Carphone Warehouse to get a replacement phone sent to me. On the ninth day, after finding out that my new mobile had spent its 4th cold and lonely night in the City Link warehouse in the Midlands, instead of being re-directed to Ealing Broadway (where I was staying), I was sent on two-bus-journey-long wild goose chase to Wembley to buy the same phone, which I had already paid for online!

Due to the usual computer systems failure and general incompetence of the staff, I was forced to wait in the shop for close to an hour before they could process my order. On departing the shop a long line of expletives were released into the otherwise tranquil airspace of the Watford Road.

The Great Bureaucratic Windup...

The Carphone Warehouse incident happened whilst I was staying at parent’s house in Ealing for two weeks from 1st –12th November, cat sitting for them whilst they were away in Australia. During this time I was forced into another bureaucratic wrangle with, my now least favourite ISP, Wanadoo. I was attempting to set up a wireless broadband connection for my mum and dad whilst they were away. Unfortunately, on day one, the ‘Live Box’ crashed. I called the Technical Support line and was told exactly what was wrong with the box – that I required the rescue CD – and then promptly told that they could not speak to me anymore as it was in breach of the data protection act. My name was Ellie and not Bernard and I was not a registered third party user!

Well what was I supposed to do when Bernard was the other side of the world? Initially they told my that if Bernard emailed then and asked to add me to the account as a third party user, I would be able to call Technical Support and order the CD myself within 24 hours. Time passed, more phone calls were made and they still would not speak to me! It took them a week to even acknowledge Bernard’s email request and eventually to add me to the account. When I was finally allowed to order the rescue CD, I was told that it would take 3 – 5 working days, by which time I would be back in Nottingham!

Now I’m sorry to bore you with all this, I’m just trying to get across how frustrating both these situations were (especially seeing they were happening at the same time). Not to mention I was all alone in a big, cold, empty house, with only two incontinent cats for company. As you can imagine the long and boring silences were often broken by sporadic outbursts of heartfelt swears. After I’d returned to Nottingham, I found therapy in the form of complaint letters. Five solid hours and 10 A4 pages later (6 pages to Wanadoo and 4 pages to Carphone Warehouse) and I started to feel a little brighter about myself...

Life Without My Portable Brain...

The breaking of the mobile phone ‘voice memo’ device meant that I had to rely on my memory once again for recording swears. Actually it served me a lot better than I had remembered from the start of the year. Left, right and centre I seemed to be recalling swears and jotting them down at later points in the day. Either my memory has improved or I have become slightly more lax about the project over the past months. Maybe I’m not so fussed about the exact minute the swear was uttered or the exact order of the words I said. I just right down what I can remember and it seems to be working fine.

Electronic Swearing...

The last change in behaviour that I noticed in November was a short flurry of swearing in emails. After getting annoyed with someone online, I released a ’fuck’ and ‘cunt’ in electronic text format and sent them winging their way towards an unexpecting inbox. It was a liberating experience and another new way I’d developed of bending the Swear Box rules. I could swear as much as I liked on paper without having to record them. I first discovered this joy in May’s diary entry whist scrawling additional swears in my notebook. Now that I have updated this method of release to the computer and feel I may have a few more e-swears coming on in December...

December Swear Diary >